Dispatches from Elsewhere: Clara
March 27, 2020 7:59 AM - Season 1, Episode 5 - Subscribe

The clues lead to a new tale that provides insight into the mystery behind the Elsewhere Society and its missing founder.

An essential Dispatches From Elsewhere episode spills some background on Clara (Liz Shannon Miller for TV/AV Club; rating: B+)
One of the struggles in covering Dispatches From Elsewhere has been deciding how much focus to put on the game being played, largely because the show itself seems uncertain about that question. However, when it comes to the game, this week may be one of the most essential episodes yet, delving into the mythology on a whole new level. “Clara” is not all about the missing girl who’s at the center of whatever is happening—big moments for many characters do happen. But now we not only know a lot more about who Clara is, but we know the power she has to change lives, even in absentia.
posted by filthy light thief (4 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'm a fan of this show. It really scratches my "weird and mysterious" itch, reminding me of Meow Wolf (previously, twice) in terms of beautiful chaos of the Elsewhere Society's creative efforts, and the music makes me think of Utopia (FanFare; Wikipedia) by Cristobal Tapia de Veer (full soundtrack on YouTube), who also scored Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (soundtrack on YouTube, FanFare).

Then listening to Ghosts V (YouTube Playlist; on the blue) by Nine Inch Nails right after watching this episode, it felt like a continuation of that world. Lo and behold, The show’s original music is composed by Atticus Ross, a collaborator with Trent Reznor on a number of scores. Also scoring the show are Leopold Ross & Claudia Sarne (Film Music Reporter).

But on this episode -- it felt disconnected from the last, where Fredwynn was trying to get everyone to realize that the game was a ruse, misdirection from the true intent. Now he's on board with "solving" the game? Still, I'm having fun, so I'll come back next week :)
posted by filthy light thief at 8:13 AM on March 27, 2020

Was it ever explained why Fredwynn set that bizarre text on Janice’s phone? Or are we supposed to just shrug and say “That’s just what Fredwynn does”? That seems a bit weird, even for this weird show. Everything seems to have some sort of purpose, and the text seems to have had no purpose. If I missed the point of it, could someone enlighten me?

That point aside, I liked this episode quite a bit. It was helpful to now see Clara’s story (and, I guess, have the “bad guys” more clearly defined)
posted by Thorzdad at 5:28 AM on March 28, 2020 [2 favorites]

Whenever I see an Indian character named Sanjay I think back to Danny Pudi, who played 3 different Sanjays in 2007. Could the writers at least try to flesh things out a bit more? And a nerd character who also has an inhaler, you know, to convey how weak and not one of the normies he is? Really?

I want to like this show but overall I continue to find a bunch of the details to be more off putting than endearing.
posted by Pong74LS at 8:05 AM on March 29, 2020

I like this show. But criminy, it is twee. It's like a Wes Anderson directing a puppet musical of Amelie with songs by Belle and Sebastian level of twee. I like it, but still. Like, you know how too much sugar can give you a toothache? This gives me whatever the equivalent pain to too much twee is.

I do still like it though.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:57 AM on April 5, 2020

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